John Robertson: The Dark Room 20:00 Underbelly, White Belly (Venue 61) until Aug 26th
Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have waited for three years to see this show. The Dark Room is without a doubt one of the best things I’ve ever seen. It’s everything it promises and more besides. As the game is played by audience members, it becomes increasingly funny and slightly frustrating, just like the real text based video games of consoles past.
The writing, the stage presence and presentation for me was completely perfect. The feeling of spontaneity and crowd work sets this show apart. The democracy round is another stroke of genius where people practically tear out their vocal chords to be heard and make a difference…
It is a highly odd experience to be made to feel like you’re working with and against those around you to try and beat the game.
The only down side is that every now and again, the memory of this marvellous show will pop into my head and for no apparent reason, I find myself whispering ‘You awake to find yourself in a dark room’. This I’m told is slightly unnerving for the rest of my colleagues but who cares?
There are so many reasons to see this dark humoured show from the exceptional writing to the character work of Mr John Robertson, this is really some top draw stuff that’s worth every penny and more.
Niteskreen 00:10 Just The Tonic @ The Caves, Just The Wee Room (Venue 88) Aug 19-26th
Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is an odd little show and one of the true gems of the fringe although it’s not what you might expect.
A synthesiser is played in the background while images of fictional shows flash up on a screen accompanied by descriptions of what to expect from the shows. It is here that the magic of this show lies. There is no spoken word element to the performance but the descriptions are a work of pure genius. While reading one or two of these I found myself thinking that I’d probably watch this or that programme. I don’t know what that says about me but what I was seeing was strangely addictive.
Throughout the show the short show descriptions became more surreal and dark aided by the music which, at times was downright creepy.
For me, this show is on at the right time, in the right room in the right venue and has tp be seen. It’s a really treat and something more than a bit unique and unusual.
Ash Pryce: Mind Reader Live 17:30 @ Bar Bados Aug 4-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-25
PBH’s Free Fringe
Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
If you want to see something truly amazing, this is the place to see it and this is the man to show you. Ash Pryce has exceptional stage presence with comfortable and gentle audience participation which, although very involved, is completely enthralling.
Pryce builds the suspense in the room magnificently and then proceeds to live up to and surpass every expectation. The skills incorporated into the show is breath-taking and it is good fun to see the baffled look on the faces of the volunteers after each reveal is finished.
This is a highly impressive performance which is surreal and astounding, presented with a superb degree of charm and charisma. It leaves you feeling really good and wanting much more.
Go and see it because it’s different and funny and totally unlike anything else you’re likely to see on the fringe. There’s a reason we gave it 5 stars, so seek it out and experience it for yourselves.
Horror – Gothic Tales and Dark Poetry 14:00 @ Banshee Labyrinth (Venue 156) Aug 4-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-26th
PBH’s Free Fringe
Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This show is a beautifully performed collection of prose and poetry from some of the best horror writers ever to have put pen to paper. It contains a selection of classics but also highlights some pieces that the audience may not have come across before. Not only that but it is wonderful to hear a duel language show with some pieces performed in German and some in English. This adds texture and such depth to an already superb show making it so easy to lose yourself in it.
Isabel Schmier has a powerful stage presence which is at once subtle and commanding. Schmier is a born storyteller with expert poise and obvious passion enriching the experience. The phrase ‘breathing new life’ springs to mind when watching this performance.
If horror and spoken word if your thing, this is 100% the show for you. Go see it and escape in to the endlessly tempting world of horror and darkness. Seeing this show in the Banshee Labyrinth is an added treat which makes it totally unmissable and an absolute pleasure to watch.
Bursting with energy from the start, this peculiar performance is intense and welcoming from the start. Gethin Alderman even includes audience members loitering by the door, unsure whether to venture in. The hyper surreal quality of the performance continues on at the same pace, with the same energy throughout.
There was a wonderful ad-lib bit in the show where at one point a group of Spanish children came in and sat down to watch. Alderman began speaking in Spanish to them. This to me set him apart and added an extra fantastic layer to the show.
Alderman is quick on his feet in all senses of the phrase providing all round good fun for all the family, incorporating interesting and well developed character work and excellently crafted jokes.
Limelight is a cleverly written show that has positive messages and leaves the onlooker happy if not ever so slightly baffled but in the best possible way.
The Selkie, A Song of Many Waters by Fay Roberts 12:30pm @ 52 Canoes (Venue 366) 4-7th, 9-15th
PBH’s Free Fringe
Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the most beautifully descriptive show of the fringe. Fantastically performed, gently, powerful and at the same time poignant and completely enchanting, this show is not to be missed.
The show is perfectly written to suit the voice of the poet and the proof of this lies with the audience who are completely immersed in the world Fay Roberts has created.
The Selkie is a show that is impossible not to fall in love with.
The tale is told so vividly, the listener can almost see the colours and feel the textures of the narrative. This is a performance of many subtle layers which brings to life the stunning words written by this natural storyteller.
At times the story is woven is such a way that it’s almost hard to believe that it’s told in the same language in which you’re listening. I can guarantee you’ve never heard anything like this.
The passion behind the performance adds to the sheer escapism and the audience is very eager to hear more. Personally, I could listen to this for hours and still want more.
This is a tale of heartache, self discovery, identity and making your own way in a turbulent world. Full of twists and turns, the tale almost mimics the waters which form the essence of this piece.
Don’t miss this. You’ll regret it bitterly if you do because you will have missed out on something absolutely breathtaking, sublime and truly amazing.
As the audience took their seats, Rosa Wright, already sat on stage, playing a gentle, melody on a Ukulele. As soon as everyone was comfortable, the show began and immediately Wright held the room in the palm of her hand demonstrating a superb ability to think on her feet during the excellent audience participation which is neither awkward nor embarrassing for the audience members.
In this beautifully written, honest and touching show poetry, comedy and song are blended perfectly lending further to the unafraid theme threading through the show.
Each piece has its own personality and is both written and performed with different voices masterfully. Some of them deal with fairly sensitive issues, Wright however has a superb ability to maintain the ‘safe space’ feel. The wonderfully crafted songs are both relaxing to listen to as well as brilliantly funny.
Only we’re not on our own are we lovely listeners, because you’re here.
This time we bring you an interview so electric even the weather joined in! we has a thunder storm right the way through most of it and editor Keri loved every minute of it.
In this episode we discuss education, Shakespeare, trouser rippage, running, pies, chicken nuggets and the answer to the most important question on the Bunbury team’s mind and one that has burned through the ages;
What Paul’s zombie apocalypse plan is.
All this and more!
Below you’ll find all of the links we talked about in the show.
You can see Paul’s work and get in touch with him via Facebook at https://m.facebook.com/teacherwriterPJ/
We really do advise that you check him out. He’s a lovely guy and his poetry books are well worth investing in.
Finally, as mentioned above, we spoke about Paul’s passion for running. He runs for charity a lot and has a just giving page. His next run is for the cancer charity Macmillan. Please give what you can. It will be much appreciated by us an him. https://www.justgiving.com/PJonthego
As always the music was by the brilliant Midlane, click on his face below for more! It was produced by Keri Moriarty for the internet.
Liked this podcast? Want to help Bunbury carry on bringing you wonderful entertainment? Please hit the donate link below and give what you can. We love what we do and hope you love it too.
The first and most important thing to say about Show Up, Peter Michael Marino’s latest one-man show, is that it is not written by nor is it about Peter Michael Marino. This show, as made clear on the flyer, is about the ‘shite life’ of the audience. This is a show that is completely new and fresh every day, written off the back of suggestions from the audience. Because of this, the show is brand new every day.
It would take a brave performer indeed to improvise an entire hour every day on their own. It would take an incredibly funny and intelligent performer to be able to do this. Luckily, Peter Michael Marino is a performer of great intelligence, wit and enough energy to light up the entirety of The Counting House (I think. I’m not an electrician but that seems about right).
The first half of the show is that set up for the improvisation. Peter has eight post-it notes with categories written on them such as ‘Family’, ‘Addiction’ and ‘Childhood’. He takes suggestions from the audience based on these categories, segueing into his own tales then back to the people in the room. This helps draw the crowd in on an immediately personal level. All of these suggestions build towards the second-half, which is a traditional ‘one-man show’, which perfectly parodies the melo-drama of the form. The inclusive feel in the room is extended when he choose audience members to direct the play and the sound-scaping.
Peter is a deeply engaging performer who always leaves the crowd with a message. This will be the same message I will leave you with here. Just Show Up. You will never see this show again, and you don’t want to miss out!
Wisebowm is an urban poet whose struggle is real – the struggle with being the country’s leading urban poet. The struggle with working the nine to five. The struggle with trying to impress the right woman and please his friends and family. This is a musical about struggle.
Steve Whiteley has created a deeply likeable character in Wisebowm, a crackling parody of the faux ‘urban kid rap poet’, with pretensions of being ‘gangsta’ yet actually being achingly middle-class. Steve has perfectly identified the attitude and intricacies of these characters and presented them in a fresh way, via an engaging premise. I have seen many parodies of this type of character before, but have never seen it so well done.
The premise is a musical based around Wisebowm’s last year, and the struggles he has faced. Steve Whiteley uses the poems and music weaved together exceptionally within the narrative, and his performance absolutely fills the room. There is no ignoring Wisebowm when he is in full flow. The production of the music is also stand-out – the music and SFX all timed to comedic perfection.
I never like to make comparisons of one thing to another in these reviews but the narrative of The Struggle is Real, the music and poetry put me in mind of The Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come For Free (a personal note to Mr. Whiteley – I really apologise if this is off the mark of your intentions for the show. That really is one of my favourite albums and you have done a stellar job of parodying it!) Go and see Wisebowm while he is still tearing up the Edinburgh streets with his rhymes. You’ll be his next biggest fan!